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CONTEL CELLULAR REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 1992 RESULTS

 CONTEL CELLULAR REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 1992 RESULTS
 ATLANTA, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Contel Cellular Inc.


(NASDAQ: CCXLA) today reported a net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, of $28.1 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $37.6 million, or 38 cents per share, in the corresponding 1991 period.
 The company realized significant revenue and subscriber gains as well as further improvements in operating income for the quarter: revenues were $62 million compared with $46 million reported in 1991, a 34 percent increase; subscribers increased to 253,600 for an increase of approximately 48 percent over the same date last year; cash flow from operations before depreciation and amortization (and one-time merger integration costs recorded in 1991) increased to $10 million, as compared with $2.7 million in 1991.
 First quarter results reviewed.
 First quarter 1992 service revenues, which exclude equipment sales, were $58 million, as compared with $42 million for the corresponding 1991 period. The growth in service revenues for the first quarter is attributed to increased subscribers in company- controlled markets which totalled 253,600 at March 31, 1992, as compared to 171,500 at the end of the corresponding prior-year period.
 Total subscribers, including the company's proportional share of subscribers in non-controlled markets, were approximately 379,000 at March 31, 1992. The increase in susbscribers was partially offset by lower revenues per average subscriber, which declined to $77 as compared with $85 in the corresponding prior-year period. The decline in usage primarily reflects the ongoing effects of the recession and an increase in the percentage of casual users. Average monthly churn for the first quarter was 2.2 percent, as compared to 2.3 percent for the corresponsing 1991 period.
 Contel Cellular President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Whipple said the first quarter results reflect the continued impact of the recession. According to Whipple: "Net subscriber gains remained seasonally strong and our churn rate remains among the lowest in the industry. However, the decline in subscriber usage reflects the impact of reduced consumer spending in a sluggish economy. Nevertheless, we're pleased to have realized a 29 percent annualized growth rate in subscribers during the first quarter of 1992. We continue to look at new ways to enhance service revenues and to ensure that our subscriber acquisition costs more closely match the revenue potential of new subscribers," Whipple added.
 Lower operating loss.
 Results for 1991 include one-time merger integration costs of $11.7 million. Excluding the merger integration costs, the operating loss for the first quarter of 1992 improved by $3.4 million to $11.2 million in 1992, as compared with $14.6 million in the corresponding 1991 period.
 Contel Cellular provides mobile and portable-telephone services in 36 metropolitan markets in the United States. The company is a limited partner in 29 additional metropolitan markets and has ownership interests in 83 rural service areas. Based on total-market population or POPs, Contel Cellular is the sixth-largest cellular company in the United States, with interests in cellular systems representing 24.1 million POPs.
 Contel Cellular is a publicly traded company, of which 90 percent of the outstanding shares is indirectly owned by GTE Corp. (NYSE: GTE).
 GTE is the fourth-largest publicly owned telecommunications company in the world. With approximately $20 billion in revenues in 1991, the corporation is the largest U.S.-based local-telephone company and the second largest cellular service provider in the United States. GTE also is a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, satellite and air-to-ground telecommunications, directories and telecommunications-based information services and systems.
 CONTEL CELLULAR INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Thousands, except per-share data)
 Unaudited
 3 mos. ended 3/31/92 3/31/91
 Revenues & sales:
 Service revenues $57,730 $42,140
 Equipment sales 4,676 4,344
 Total 62,406 46,484
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of services 8,816 8,388
 Cost of equipment sales 6,948 6,045
 Selling, general & admin. 36,632 29,319
 Depreciation 10,834 9,191
 Amortization of intangibles 10,336 8,094
 Merger integration costs --- 11,668
 Total 73,566 72,705
 Operating loss (11,160) (26,221)
 Interest expense, net 35,725 37,784
 Loss before minority interests (46,885) (64,005)
 Minority interests 770 838
 Loss from consolidated opers. (46,115) (63,167)
 Equity in earnings of unconsol.
 partnerships 4,758 3,703
 Gains on sales of partnership
 interests 28 6,733
 Loss before income taxes (41,329) (52,731)
 Benefit from income taxes (13,256) (15,149)
 Net loss $(28,073) $(37,582)
 Net loss per share $ (0.28) $ (0.38)
 Weighted average shares outst. 99,941 99,953
 -0- 4/22/92
 /CONTACT: Ted Carrier, 404-804-3549, or Jeff Keller, 404-391-8358, both of Contel Cellular/
 (CCXLA) CO: Contel Cellular Inc.; GTE Corporation ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU: ERN


EA-BN -- AT007 -- 1733 04/23/92 10:05 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1992
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